The Decline of Unions

By John Fund, National Review Online

A couple of network cameras and tripods sat outside the offices of the National Labor Relations Board here on Friday afternoon in the midst of a snowstorm. The NLRB doesn’t usually merit such attention, but it was pushed into the spotlight after Friday’s unanimous decision by a D.C. Court of Appeals panel declaring three of President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB unconstitutional.

No one followed the demise of the NLRB appointees with more interest than labor unions. The decision likely means that hundreds of decisions that the five-member board was able to issue only because the unconstitutional members helped meet a quorum requirement are now invalid. Richard Cordray, who was recess-appointed to head the new Consumer Financial Protective Bureau mandated by the Dodd-Frank law, may also now no longer be in office legally and could see all decisions he participated in declared void.

Unions celebrated after helping secure President Obama’s reelection in November, but it’s been all downhill since then. December saw Michigan, the birthplace of industrial unionism in the 1930s, become a right-to-work state, as GOP state legislators became emboldened by the failure of a well-financed union ballot measure that would have cemented pro-union laws into the state’s constitution.

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